The 'Temporal-Processing-Fit Effect': The Interplay between Regulatory State, Temporal Distance, and Construal Levels

37 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2012

See all articles by Yael Steinhart

Yael Steinhart

Independent

David Mazursky

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Jerusalem School of Business Administration; Bocconi University - Department of Marketing

Michael A. Kamins

State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook

Date Written: September 19, 2012

Abstract

The current research proposes a moderator of the established effect of temporal construal on the weighting of abstract features versus more concrete features - that of the individual’s regulatory focus. The moderating effect relies on the presence or absence of a fit between regulatory focus and the time horizon for upcoming decisions (i.e., prevention focus/ near future or promotion focus/ distant future). Under a promotion (prevention) focus, construal levels are higher in the near (distant) than in the distant (near) future. Four experiments find support for this 'temporal -processing - fit effect' and provide a perspective on its possible causes, showing that when 'fit' is the present state, the event is perceived as more important, being locally processed and construed in a concrete manner, than in non-fit states. In the latter states, the event is processed in a global manner and construed abstractly because it is perceived as less important.

Suggested Citation

Steinhart, Yael and Mazursky, David and Mazursky, David and Kamins, Michael A., The 'Temporal-Processing-Fit Effect': The Interplay between Regulatory State, Temporal Distance, and Construal Levels (September 19, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2148890 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2148890

David Mazursky

Bocconi University - Department of Marketing ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Jerusalem School of Business Administration ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
02-5883217 (Phone)

Michael A. Kamins

State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook ( email )

Health Science Center
Stony Brook, NY
United States

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